Many people especially ask for endorsements when they are looking for a digital marketing agency or consultant for working on their internal business projects. I understand this is for the concerns of authority and reputation when they are looking for SEO expert and don’t know how to hire SEO expert.
Per the request, agencies are happy to show there are Google certified partner or Google certified consultant. However, people who are not from this industry really don’t know what is meant to be Google certified and what are the certifications? Most of the people just simply assumed these certified agencies or consultants are really good at SEO and they can do the work they expected. However, the truth is, Google is not issuing SEO certification to any entities or individuals. So then, what is really mean to be Google certified?
Google SEO Certification? It Doesn’t Exist!
When I first started my SEO journey, I took a lot of the SEO courses from different sources you named like Coursera, Udemy, Moz, Search Engine Land Blog etc. Then came to the day I asked myself if Google offers certification to SEO consultant since when people talking about SEO they always mean Google SEO. So then I googled “google SEO certification”. What was surprised my that Google has never had such thing call “SEO certification” to SEO agency or SEO consultant.
Why is that?
According to Gary Illyes who is the Google Webmaster Trends Analyst during a hangout with Eric Enge and Mark Traphagen in 2016. He pointed out that Google will not provide SEO certification like they do for AdWords and other partners. There are more bad reasons than good reason to provide such an SEO certification by Google said by Gary. He added that their team had been discussed “SEO certification” a lot and always ended with NO for the answer.
Here is the quote from Gary:
“We were thinking of that, a lot and a bit more. And we always end up with the conclusion that we shouldn’t do it. There are many reasons why that would be a good idea but there are many more reasons why it would be a bad idea.
If we endorse SEOs, then that would also mean that we actually have to perhaps train them. Which would be nonsense because… First of all it wouldn’t be scalable to train, I don’t know, how many people. Second, if we do go down that path, then we will have to hire more people, which costs more. Finally, we would have to ask for money and search doesn’t ask for money for anything [organic for pay]. So there is already a conflict there.
I don’t know, there were tons of things that we brought up against this.
My short answer is no, we will not have that anytime soon.”
The 3 reasons that Google won’t offer SEO certification:
- Google have to offer training to SEOers.
- Google have to hire more people and costs more.
- A conflict between pay to search and free to search.
Although Google has no SEO certification, Google does offer various certifications to cover different aspects of digital marketing. What are they?
- Google AdWords Certification
- Google Analytics Certification
- Mobile Site Certification
- Digital Sales Certification
- Google Developer Certification
Google Adwords Certification
The Google AdWords Certification Program helps search engine marketing consultant to master basic and advanced advertising concepts, including campaign set up, management, and optimization. To become AdWords certified, you’ll need to pass the AdWords Fundamentals exam and one of the other AdWords exams. You can demonstrate your expertise and help your company earn the Google Partner badge with an AdWords certification.
- AdWords Fundamentals
- Search Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Video Advertising
- Mobile Advertising
- Shopping Advertising
The benefits of being an AdWords certified consultant is that you can get an official certification from Google and you can link it from your website.
For digital companies, Google also offers the Google Partner Program. The Google Partner Program allows the website to display the Google Partner badge thus increase the reputation and authority.
How to become a Google Partner?
|Partner badge||Premier Partner badge|
|Create and complete a Partners company profile so we have the information necessary to list your company on Google Partner Search.||Create and complete a Partners company profile so we have the information necessary to list your company on Google Partner Search.|
|Get 1 affiliated individual certified in AdWords to show that you and your colleagues have advanced AdWords knowledge.||Get 2 affiliated individuals certified in AdWords to show that you and your colleagues have advanced AdWords knowledge.|
|Meet a 90-day ad spend requirement of $10,000 USD across your managed accounts to show that your company has a healthy amount of activity.||Meet a higher spend requirement across your managed accounts to show that your company has a healthy amount of activity.|
|Meet the performance requirement by delivering solid overall ad revenue and growth, and maintaining and growing your customer base.||Meet the performance requirement by delivering solid overall ad revenue and growth, and maintaining and growing your customer base.|
Google Analytics Certification
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification Program helps digital marketing consultant to master basic and advanced Google Analytics concepts. This includes topics such as 1) planning and principles, 2) implementation and data collection, 3) configuration and administration, 4) conversion and attribution, 5) reports, metrics, and dimensions.
The Google Analytics Certification exam is 90 minutes long with 70 questions. It needs at least 80% passing core to earn the certification. The benefits of the Google Analytics Certification is that you can get an official certification from Google and link it from your website.
In my opinion, the Google Analytics skill is very basic for individuals who are in the field of SEO. Since Google Analytics is the daily tool for SEOer to monitoring and measuring the movement of SEO campaign and any other digital marketing activities. So when people talking about SEO certification, I assuming they are really mean the Google Analytics Certification.
Mobile Sites Certification
The Mobile Sites Certification Program helps digital marketing consultant to master the basic and advanced concepts, including best practices for creating, managing, measuring, and optimizing mobile websites.
The Mobile Site Certification Program covers:
- Review the importance of mobile speed and user design.
- Learn how to improve mobile site speed and test it.
- Learn about user experience and design principles for mobile sites.
- Get an introduction to advanced web technologies.
The Mobile Site Certification exam is 90 minutes long with 65 questions. It needs at least 80% passing core to earn the certification.
Why is Mobile Site Certification A Must?
The mobile sites will become dominant to the Web in the near future. In 2016, Google started the Mobile-first Indexing progress with their search algorithms. According to the Google Webmaster Blog, Google will be considering to use the mobile version website to evaluate its relevance to the user.
Here is the Quote from Google:
“To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.”
A mobile site certified SEO consultant is able to create, manage, measure, and optimize mobile websites. It is very critical part of technical SEO.
Digital Sales Certification
The Digital Sales Certification Program helps digital marketing consultant to master the basic concepts in online advertising and sales skills. It assesses the effectiveness of sales representatives to sell Google digital solutions to businesses.
The Digital Sales Certification Program covers:
- Learn about the benefits of online advertising, AdWords fundamentals, and client-centric sales skills.
The Mobile Site Certification exam is 90 minutes long with 55 questions. It needs at least 80% passing core to earn the certification.
Google Developer Certification
The Google Developer Certification is for any technical background individuals who learned the web apps or mobile apps development skills on any Google platforms.
Here is the introduction quote from Google Developers Certification website:
Google Developers Certification lets you demonstrate your proficiency and skill. After you pass a certification exam, you can use your certification to promote yourself to the communities, projects, and employers that are important to you.
All the certification exams are backed by rich training content offered as online curriculum, instructor-led training, or self-study materials.
When you pass a certification exam, Google stores your certificate, badge, or other digital marks in a central, verifiable location. You can include your digital mark in your email signature and embed it on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Mobile Web Specialist Certification: demonstrate the skills to create responsive and flexible web apps on any platform.
- Associate Android Developer Certification: Demonstrate the skills that an entry-level Android Developer should have.
- Google Cloud Architect Certified Professional: Demonstrate your proficiency in designing, building, and managing solutions on the Google Cloud Platform.
- Google Data Engineer Certified Professional: Demonstrate your proficiency in designing and building data-processing systems, and your skill at creating machine-learning models on the Google Cloud Platform.
Google does not offer the SEO certification, but Google offers various certifications to cover and demonstrate the skills that an SEO consultant should have in the daily works.
- An SEO consultant who earned the Google AdWords Certification should be able to research the right keywords based on the types and goals of client’s business. What’s more, the SEO consultant should also be able to give deep analysis and recommendation to the on-page optimization for landing pages and targeting keywords.
- An SEO consultant who earned the Google Analytics Certification should be able to monitoring and be measuring the progress of SEO campaign. In addition, analysis the effectiveness of SEO performance and to give recommendations accordingly.
- An SEO consultant who earned the Mobile Site Certification should be able to analysis website structure and give the recommendation of technical optimization for the website to be SEO friendly.
- Enge, E. (2016, February 11). Virtual Keynote with Gary Illyes and Eric Enge. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7YF3fp2-Ac
- G.(2016, November 04). Mobile-first Indexing. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html
- G.(n.d.). Google Partner. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from https://developers.google.com/training/certification/?hl=en-US